"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." D&C 121:7-8

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I used the priesthood that I hold

Things have been going pretty good this week!!! Pretty interesting actually. I will go into detail a little bit later...

I am super excited for the baptisms this Saturday. President Torres has to come and interview Carmen because she is only 10 years old. But it shall be so great. And it's also a great way to get the parents to come to church! Because they have some type of fear with going, not sure why. But we are still working with them because they need a divorce and marriage too. AHH! But I guess that’s just how things are here....

Same thing with José and Heidy..I'm actually sitting next to Heidy’s kid here in the internet café. They are still doing good and coming to church. We are just supporting them to be able to get their divorce done. I hope I will get to see them baptized. But I don't know. I have been here for 3 changes now. So we shall see what happens....

For our P days....Well we usually play capture the flag or something as a zone. If not, we get together as a district, plus Elder Winkel and his comp, and we play dodge ball or something. Then the usual email, shopping, and relaxing. Today we had a big bbq type deal with all the elders in the capital for pioneer day. So that was pretty fun being able to see a lot of my CCM buddies. We played random games and ate delicious hamburgers!!!! That’s all we did for Pioneer day.

I’m doing well with Elder Barrios. The change has gone by really fast for me. So that’s always a good sign that we are getting along and that we are always working hard. It's fun.

Ha ha! No I don’t have any drunk friends. But I do see the same drunk guys every day in the street. Maybe I will take a picture with them one day. Haha!

No, nothing scary or anything with the foods....we cook for we pretty much eat sandwiches, rice, beans, eggs, spaghetti, oatmeal, and well that’s about it. But we are gonna mix it up when we go shopping today. But as for food I’m doing good. I’m not hungry, ever really. However I’m still losing weight. I probably weigh like 180 now. Maybe less, who knows. But I’m doing great out here.

Stories for this week: .......

Earlier this week, the people that we live with heard weird noises in the night, I did too. I also dreamed of really weird things and woke up numerous times feeling that there was some sort of evil spirit surrounding me. The next night I turned off the lights to the other rooms in the house and we were in our bedroom. We both felt that there was some evil spirit waiting in the other room. It was a really strong feeling that something wasn’t right. I prayed like always and started reading Jesus the Christ because I couldn’t sleep. Then I felt what I needed to do. I used the Priesthood that I hold, raised my arm to the square and commanded that the spirit would leave. I felt peaceful right afterwards and I was able to sleep. I haven’t felt that evilness since.

The next story is we had a good service project again using machetes which was sweet!! (Anytime we can use machetes, it’s a good thing!)

My next story happened yesterday. I sliced my head open! Yay!! I was walking up a hill and there was a little cement ledge hanging over the sidewalk that I didn’t see. I slammed the back, right part of my head and it bled everywhere! But don’t worry it stopped bleeding and I got it cleaned out real good. I just have a headache now but it’s all good. Nothing too serious that you need to worry about.

Those are my stories for the week.

Hopefully this week we will be able to set a fecha for baptism with Jared. At church he answered the questions like a member would. He is amazing and will be a great addition to the church. But he also needs to get married. I don’t know what is stopping him because we have found a lawyer that can do it for really cheap. So we hope that he will be able to get that taken care of and be baptized.

Hermana Carmen....I don’t know if I have told you about her, she is the grandma of the Familia Molina. The first visit with her she told us that she knew that everything about our church was true and that she would like to be baptized in the church too. The only problem is that she doesn’t feel like going to church either. We are trying to fix that and so we can baptize her one day too.

Then José Pocon. We have a fecha with him for the 7th of August. He has been coming to church and is willing to drop coffee, and everything, its really cool to see him grow in the learning of this gospel. He is a really good man.

We also found Maria Morales. A Catholic woman who has recently decided that she needs something new because a lot of her beliefs are contrary to those of her church. She has been searching for the truth and is a really nice lady. I hope we can help her and teach her more to be able to resolve the doubts she has and come to know through her prayers that this church is the only church that has the true power of God and that this church is the only church that Christ is personally guiding. Because there are so many good churches with good people. I just really hope that people will know everywhere that there is one that is truly the only correct and best one.

Well that’s really about it for this week....I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, July 19, 2010

You really can’t tell someone what its like to live here in Guat. You really kind of have to experience it!


You’ll have to take photos of your beloved dogs down there sometime soon, ha ha!!
Well, I can’t take pictures of the dogs. There is no time and then I will have no hands to fend them off with my sword (umbrella) Haha!!

Lauren and Brian had their baby yesterday. Charlie Christopher Howard!
Charlie, Jack, and Kate! LOST Family! Ha that’s so awesome. Can’t wait to mess around with that kid in his terrible 2´s when I get back home.

How is your flea situation? Did anything I wrote you about work? Do you want me to send you a mosquito net?
A mosquito net might be nice. Grandma gave me these scentsy things that are made by Raid for mosquitoes so it’s really ok for now... and I really don’t have a flea problem anymore...probably the bananas we eat like you told us to and I wear dark clothes to bed. So it’s all good.

Oh for my birthday...
The pictures....have them be like small ones that you have printed off and can laminate so I can fit them in my Book of Mormon or bible or my little hymn book that I carry around. Then the CD´s of John Schmidt that you already know. Then I also want my black shoes that I left home. You know those small ones that I wore for doing ninja activities and stuff, the van type shoes. And then I want Perfect Pushups. Just look it up online if you don’t know what that is. But it would really help with working out and stuff. Cuz it gets really boring without something ya know?

Ok so we went to the Montenegro Family’s home yesterday. They aren’t willing to change religions. Satan works in mysterious ways. They have prayed numerous times and each time have felt the need to change to this great gospel. But they are just unwilling to change. Maybe sometime in the distant future. But we won’t be teaching them anymore...sad stuff.

Familia Molina is just super sick always (“sick” as in awesome, not ill). We started teaching their grandma too. She lives above them and works when we can visit the rest of the family, so we are visiting with her personally. But the first lesson we had with her she said that she has no doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet and even said that she would really like to get baptized!!! But she also said that it might take some time. Also I think she is a little afraid to go to church. But she is a really special lady who has been looking for the truth for a long time and has never joined another church. But that whole family is just amazing! And the two kids Carmen and Alejandro Javier are on track to get baptized on the 31st!! WHEEE!!! We have another appt. with them tonight.

We are still working hard with Jared, and José & Heidy. They are still really good progressing investigators.

We are also teaching this other José. He is kind of a weird guy, but really a good interested investigator. He even came to church this last Sunday! He date for baptism is on the 7th of August.

I really hope that all these wonderful people realize the importance of our message and see a need to resist all temptation to be able to complete with the great goals they have set to be baptized. Keep them in your prayers.

How do you feel being a seasoned missionary now? What is daily life like in Guatemala and how does it differ from home?
Well I’m not quite seasoned, I have really only been out for 5 months. I won’t be seasoned for at least 2 or 3 more months, but it’s nice. And I am learning a lot more Spanish. I can finally pick out the words I don’t understand and write them down so I can look them up later. So that is really good.

Well everything about life here is different, it’s all crazy and unorganized, I guess that’s the best way to describe it. It’s great though. You really can’t tell someone what its like to live here in Guat. You really kind of have to experience it....the fruit here really isn’t that fresh, cuz it’s been sitting out, rotting on the fruit stands all day. So we don’t really buy too much fruit. Just good ol bananas.

Everything is going really good down here. I love you all!!!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Elder Jordan Smith

P.S. I’m sending some pictures from one of the crazy rainstorms this past week. It rained practically everyday! and then one of me, Winkel, and Bronson being awesome after playing capture the flag last week as a zone...

Ok, well,maybe just one of the rain storm cuz its taking way too long. But I love you guys!! Have fun back there at home! Till next week....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Photos of Grandma's visit

by Leslie Smith:
A few weeks ago I wrote about Jordan's Grandma Angie surprising him by showing up at church in Guatemala during her trip down there to visit with her extended family. Here are a few photos that were taken just last Sunday,
July 11, 2010 when she went back to say goodbye.

The photo below is of Jordan with his Great Great Aunt Carmen. She asked him to bend down so she wouldn't look so short next to him. Instead, Jordan decided to kneel to make her extra tall!

As is very obvious from the photos above, Jordan is doing fantastic. He is happy and healthy and working hard. Best of all, he hasn't lost his crazy personality which we all love. His last few letters tell us great things about his new companion and also of all the families that he is teaching and has come to love so much.

His grandma said how much the members of his ward just love him. They affectionately call him "Smith" instead of Elder Smith, even the older ladies. He has a great relationship with all the kids and especially the young men. He is there early to shake everyone's hand as they walk into church, but has a fun secret handshake routine with those that he is especially close to. In Sunday School, the teacher asked the class to split up into 4 groups, read a scripture and then find a corresponding hymn and then sing it in front of the whole class. Each group was begging Jordan to be in their group because they love how he sings so loud. Jordan has a great singing voice but it's his energy that is most appealing!

Jordan was so blessed to get to see his grandma for a few hours and to feel of our love directly through her. What a great source of strength and unconditional love she is to all of us. Since she found out that the pizza place in the mall where the elders went each P day for lunch is now off limits, she gave Jordan a piece of paper with the phone numbers of a few pizza places nearby that offer delivery and gave him money to buy pizza a few times for him and his companion.
Spoiled!!! But that is what grandma's are for!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I can’t wait to see them in white

Questions first as usual:
So how is Elder Barrios? You guys getting along and having fun and able to do lots of great things together?
He is really good. His first name is Juan and he has 9 months out here. I really like how he teaches, so I´m learning a lot. It’s a little tough because he doesn’t know any English whatsoever, but it’s still fun, and I am helping him learn English too. Spanish is getting a little easier, hopefully I will be able to understand more soon, cuz that is still my problem right now. But I´m getting it! Finally!! I also learned from the division I had with Elder Vargas that there is a difference between being an apostate missionary and having fun. I´m glad my companion understands that too. So it’s going really well.

Who are your new zone leaders?
Still Elder Winn and Elder Vasquez

Sounds like you all had fun going out there to Colorado. I will try to remember Elder Larsen’s name... But he might be there in the Chik for a while so we shall see. That’s what the missionaries call the Polochik area.

DEMI IS ENGAGED!!!??? “What THE”!?!? (said in ian´s little voice, haha). BUT WOW!!! Tell her congrats, but that is just crazy!!!!

Is there anything you would just LOVE to have for your birthday? Is there anything you need? Is there anything that would help you in your work with your investigators?
For my birthday, I want some John Schmidt CD´s, he is a pianist and is so amazing. And also, maybe....nothing else really, maybe just some really good pictures of key moments in church history that are fairly small so that I can use them in lessons, cuz sometimes we run out of pamphlets where the pictures are....just that!!! Thanks!

Ok. Well the Familia Montenegro´s fecha bautismo fell through. They haven’t come to church and we were only able to teach them once this week. But we will get them to church and we will baptize them. I just know it.

Familia Molina is just AMAZING!!!! HOLY COW!!!! They ask so many questions. I just love them! Their eagerness to learn more about the gospel is so great. We should be able to put a fecha with them soon. I can’t wait to see them in white. But of course they have to get married too. So if we can’t baptize all of them soon, we will baptize the kids that are 13 and 10. The kids came to church all by themselves cuz the parents were busy. The little 10 year old girl asked for my Book of Mormon that I was carrying so that she could read it on her own. SO AWESOME!!! Their family is just the best. They love reading the Book of Mormon. They have questions prepared for us, every time we visit, just the golden investigators. I knew we could find someone like them. AH they give me so much happiness! Especially the other day... All of our appointments fell through and no one would let us in their house either. But we had Familia Molina at 7 that night. We were there for nearly 2 hours. It was fantastic! They made the day be perfect. It’s just so great teaching them. We have another appointment tonight at 7 with them. Cant wait!

We are still working hard with Jared, José and Heidy, they are doing great.

Oh I have to tell you....Ok so we contacted this family awhile back right? Fam Hernandez Diaz. They live above the man’s father. He really doesn’t like us. It’s really hard to get past that obstacle to be able to teach the family above that is really eager to hear more. We have even used little kids to knock for us, but he still looks around to see if it’s us. Any suggestions on how to get past this guy?

Familia Pacheco moved away, so there went another great family, but we will find more. I just know it.

This first week of the change went by really fast and it was great. Hopefully we can continue to have the blessings of the Lord in our lives and be able to find more great new people!!! It’s really weird though because almost our whole zone changed! Good thing that me, Winkel, and Bronson are still together! Winkel is even senior comp!! We played capture the flag today as a zone and went to McDonalds, it was amazing!!!

I just got to the war chapters through my second time of the Book of Mormon out here. It’s just fantastic! For the moment, I don’t have any more stories. Just dogs and stuff that I REALLY don’t like.
Only seconds remaining...
Well i love you guys so much!!!! Have fun over there and.....
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
-Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Changes, Cement, and more mean dogs!

Fam. Montenegro is doing great (Cecilia). They have a date to be baptized on the 24th. It might be changed now because they didn’t come to church but they are doing so great! Estuardo and Elena didn’t come to church either, they have been out of town, and might be moving so we will see what happens to them. I hope they will continue to desire to learn more about the gospel and be baptized one day.

That is sick about Jacob’s mission call! (Jordan’s college roommate) Congratulate him for me! That sounds so sweet.

We didn't do anything for the 4th. It was depressing. I wanted to blow things up so bad. The 4th is just the best, better than Christmas for sure!! Did anyone make a tank in my memory? If not, next year alright? Ha just wait til I get back! My tank will be the biggest ever! But it sounds like it was a lot of fun over there. The pictures came through, but for the video, there really is no way I can see it. On an SD card it won’t work unless they have the exact same camera. So I will have to watch it when I get back. But sounds amazingly fun!

OK!!! Now for the changes....
Elder Bronson is here still with his new comp Elder Bowman. Winkel is still in his area, but with a new comp so he is in my zone still. I’m still here in Atlantida with ..................... Elder Barrios from Panama. That’s all I really know about him! But he is the District Leader too so it should be good. I can almost communicate totally in Spanish so that’s a good thing too. My old comp. Elder Smith is a Zone Leader in Coban now. Elder Turek is also now in Coban learning KEKCHI! Just like he wanted!

José and Heidy...
They are awesome! We are getting all the divorce and marriage stuff worked out and their baptismal date is for Sept. 11th. They are getting married (hopefully) in the morning and the baptism in the afternoon.

There really aren’t too many new things about our investigators but we are continuing working hard with them and we have found some great new families. One of them is the Familia Molina who we are teaching tonight at 6. They are amazing. We contacted them in the street and gave them a book of mormon. When we checked on them, they read what we left them!!! AHHH like the first time that has ever happened!! I just know they will be baptized! We just have to teach them first.

I went on a division with Elder Vargas (Bronson’s old comp). It was amazing. We did service to the max. We helped this investigator family make cement. It’s not like putting it into a machine like we do the states. It’s with shovels... First we started by throwing in the sand or dirt then mixing it all with rocks, then mixing in the cement, then pouring on the water, then mixing it and making the cement, then hauling it in buckets to where it was needed. It was hard, but amazing. The spirit was really strong while doing that and we weren’t even tired after doing it, until we hit the sack that is. But it was an amazing day and I learned a lot on how to become a better teacher from him too.

How is your Book of Mormon reading going? Hope it's going good! Check out 3 Ne 9:14. It has been such a big help to me. Just knowing that the Lords is right there, waiting to help. All we have to do is reach out to Him. I love it. Elder Turek shared it in District Meeeting a few weeks ago. (Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.) Oh and look up Helaman 5:18-19. I hope to teach like that one day. (18 And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi did preach unto the Lamanites with such great power and authority, for they had power and authority given unto them that they might speak, and they also had what they should speak given unto them—
19 Therefore they did speak unto the great astonishment of the Lamanites, to the convincing them, insomuch that there were eight thousand of the Lamanites who were in the land of Zarahemla and round about baptized unto repentance, and were convinced of the wickedness of the traditions of their fathers.)

I have lost a buttload of weight!!!! I will only lose more. That's what you get when you walk all day, sweat 24-7 and you eat rice and beans, and eggs, and cereal all the time. But it's going really good and I am enjoying losing all this weight. Hopefully I will come back nice and buff. If not, I will definitely go to the gym and pump up them muscles.

The dogs here suck. Ha they aren't like good old dogs from back home. They are mean here! I jump all the time when they bark cuz who knows when they will just eat you. Ha ha!

My knee still always hurts. I don't know if I will ever get used to the pain. But I guess I just have to deal with it. Oh that reminds me. My chest exploded again. Ha remember that? I had to stay inside all day and my comp went out with some young men. It was really boring. It's all better now. Hopefully it doesn't happen again. (Jordan's ribs get dislocated from his sternum easily when he coughs or sneezes really hard for some reason. Very painful!)

Well that’s all the stories for this week. We shall see how my new comp is!!

Hey Jake, don't kill my car. love you bro!
Keep the Faith.
Stay Strong
Love Elder Jordan Smith